Ms Loewith Rochwerg has wonderful intentions and a beautiful outlook, but a sober, fact-based analysis of some of her assertions are called for. We not only should but for the sake of all Jews, Israelis, Arabs and all those who cherish life, we must have a serious conversation.
Allow me too to briefly explain where I am coming from and why I hold the views I do. Both my parents were born in Poland and immigrated to Canada prior to WWii. My mother came as the youngest child of five, in 1928, settingling farmland in southern Saskatchewan. My grandfather, a banker, had to learn farming during the depression and dust-bowl era that followed. It was there he befriended Minister Tommy Dougals, who through attestations of character helped enable some family members to escape Europe prior to the Shoah.
My father came to Canada in 1938, after serving in the Polish army, then enlisting in the Canadian army. They both settled in Montreal where I grew-up, attending Jewish and public elementary schools in an area with very similar demographics to Dundas, where I lived for 10 years.
Back to the difficult conversations: My parents, grandparents and myself have all experienced antisemitism at various times; boycotting buying from my grandfather and father; petitions "not to let the Jew" in the area; physically assaulted because my friend wore a kippah, and much more. Jew-hatred comes from many different places. Knowing that and teaching our children to be aware of that is our responsibility as parents. (As an aside, the term "antisemitism" is often used by non-Jewish Arabs, but only insofar as claiming the term a misnomer because they too insisted they are Semites. In fact, The Bloc Quebecois dropped-out of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, partially using the excuse that members of the Canadian Arab Federation gave, being that they too were "semites", thus claiming the term was a "misnomer". The anti-"Israel" Canadian Arab Federation and the Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East's, (CJPME), campaigned to shut-down the Parliamentary Coalition). Something I think worth mentioning and teaching.
We must go back to understand "the endless plight of the Palestinian people".
Why, when scores of millions of people who were made refugees around the world, is there a separate UN agency designed strictly for Palestinians and with a mandate contrary to every other person on the planet under UN refugee mandates? That being to restrict them from being resettled? Parity would dictate that the approximately 850,000 Jews forced to Muslim countries would be interned for geneations. Or the remaining European Jews continue to live in Displaced Persons camps since the mid 1940's. Or the millions of German nationals who were forced out of their homes in Easter Europe at the end of WWii, living as refugees. The difficult truth is that because of the Arab states, Palestinians languish in UNRWA camps.
Worse, those camps have many teachers who inculcate hatred of Jews. Not just Israelis, JEWS. And they are very specific, they mean all Jews, all over the world. That is not a new or even unpopular idea in the Muslim world, not historically nor currently. At anti-"Israel'' demonstrations right here at home and around the world there are chants, "Khybar, Khybar, Jews, the army of Mohammed are coming to slaughter you.". Jews were not only slaughtered in European pogroms, Jews were massacred throughout the Middle East for the past few hundred years, the early 20th century being particularly bloody. And while Jews, like mine and Ms Loewith Rochwerg's family tried fleeing rising antisemitism in Europe. Arabs blackmailed the Western nations in the Middle East to severely restrict immigration, leaving millions of Jews to die. And after the defeat of the Nazis, some Arab states warmly welcomed and employed Nazis.
Judea and Samaria are largely governed by the Arab's elected leader, Mahmoud Abbas, a man with a PhD in Holocaust denial. Gazans elected Hamas, Islamist cleptocrats whoes political vision is the same as those that govern, Iran, Qatar and now govern Afghanistan. The start point of any negotiating with these characters or their ilk for Israel, is for a complete and total abolishment of Israel. Is that a conversation Ms Loewith Rochwerg or IJV members have with their children? Is that "the Palestinian families, very much like our own; large, educated, loving and devoted families, who only want for their children the very same thing we want for ours." people Ms Loewith Rochwerg tells her children about?
I strongly believe and hope that Israelis and Palestinians will be able to live in peace and prosperity; but so long as they choose to hate Jews more than they love their children, as too many facts on the ground prove, and only when Palestinians choose to elect leaders who accept Jews as equals, Israel must stand on guard for the safety of their people, which btw are Jews, Muslims, Christians, Baha'i, etc.
Choosing to overlook reality and accept false narratives in order to substantiate more harmonious beliefs may placate one's angst, but they have seriously real and dangerous consequences for others.